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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2001 September;121(3): 181-92
Transplantation of dead body organs and tissues: legislative and forensic aspects based on European and Italian statutory dispositions
Arcangeli M., Cicciarello E., Fredduzzi L., Norcia G., Nucci M. M.
The authors review the topical problem of transplants with special reference to the removal of cadaver organs and tissues in accordance with the new Italian legislation introduced by Law no. 91 of 1 April 1999. They discuss data relating to donations from dead bodies in Italy for the purpose of collection and transplantation, and the results correlated to the development of appropriate surgical procedures aimed at re-establishing anatomic and functional integrity and promoting scientific progress while also protecting individual health and psychophysical wellbeing in respect of the dead body. The authors examine the statutory dispositions on the subject of transplants from living and dead bodies in force in the principle European countries. Attention is also focused on the need to spread a culture of transplantation. An analysis of the data for organ donations in Italy shows that there is still no common line of behaviour, also because every society has its different ideologies and underlying religious beliefs. In order to optimise the development of appropriate surgical techniques, Law 91/1999 attributes the task of identifying the most suitable methods and the development of qualified centres to the National Health Service. Lastly, the authors examine a number of problems inherent in the new Italian legislation.